This Week Online - May 27, 2014

Hello readers. Been away for about a month. Don't really have an accounting for myself. Time passed. Things were done. Other things weren't done. Back now. Happy birthday to Harlan Ellison who turns 80 today. He is my absolute favorite short story writer and the most adorable curmudgeon out there. Read a story or ten of his to celebrate.

Many things have been piling up on my desktop over the last month. I hope you find them amusing!

This Week Online - April 26, 2014

Hey all - Hope you've had a good last week. Amusingly enough, I didn't have a whole lot to post from last week so I had to wait a few extra days before some goodies came to my attention. I hope you enjoy these!

  • Do you enjoy literature? Do you enjoy comedy? The perfect melding of the two is at Thug Notes on YouTube. It's simply fantastic.
  • Are you a Patrick Rothfuss fan? You should be. He announced on his blog today that he is coming out with a new book which is not the third book in the Kingkiller Chronicle. Yes, I'm a bit disappointed, but it's set in that world so that'll be a nice consolation.
  • Stephen Colbert is closing down The Colbert Report and taking over The Late Show from David Letterman when he retires at the end of the year. As a result, Stephen has been making the rounds on shows this week. Here he says goodbye on The Daily Show. And he was also on The Late Show this past week.
  • John Waters filmed a no-smoking PSA? Yes!
  • Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen being adorable, AGAIN.
  • A fantastic fan film featuring Harley Quinn.
  • Short film following two astronauts on a ship that can travel back three minutes in time. Simply great.

I'm still trying to find the time to finish the Berlin installment of the latest Shadowrun Returns game in order to review it properly here. So far it's great, but I'm only about 10 hours of gameplay in.

Also, I picked up a game for the iPad (and other systems) called Dragons of Atlantis: Heirs of the Dragon. It's a "free to play" city-building-in-a-pvp-world type game. I played Evony back in the day for a while until the pvp stuff eventually drove me away from it. The interface on a touch screen is great. And it has neat added features like building mythical troop units (minotaurs, dragons, ogres) and you can raise an epic dragon to defend your city. If you like this sort of game, give it a try.

This Week Online - April 14, 2014

Hola all - please enjoy some amusements I found online in the past week!

Lastly, you know I'm a big fan of Tabletop, the Geek & Sundry web show hosted by Wil Wheaton on YouTube. They've decided to crowdsource the third season of the show over on Indiegogo. Check out the campaign and give if you can. If he can reach $1m, we will get a third season of Tabletop with 20 episodes AND a new spin-off show all about roleplaying games. THAT is something I really want to see!

Enjoy your week!

Saturday is Tabletop Day!

thumbs_tabletopday_logo Yay! Saturday is Tabletop Day!

From game stores to individual households, Saturday is the celebration of all things tabletop gaming. Get out and check out your local game store, or invite some friends over to play a game. There are SO many games out there worth checking out. A few of my current favorites are:

The Tabletop Day website is where you can get information about game stores and events near you. Check out this video where Wil Wheaton talks about the day and some fun swag Geek & Sundry has worked hard to get out to participating stores.

Play more games!

This Week Online - April 3, 2014

Ok, to be honest, it's more like the last couple of weeks online. Getting back into the swing of things here. Hope you enjoy these things I found!

This Week Online - March 10, 2014

Been a rough last couple of weeks, folks, but here's a list of amusing things I've found while I've been gone. Hope you enjoy them!

  • Star Wars prequel movies? Yeccccch.
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron! There's going to be an hour long special on ABC on March 18th. You have been put on notice.
  • Steven Soderbergh edited together the original Psycho and the remake. No, really.
  • An infographic which shows how everyone dies in Shakespeare's plays.
  • Had you heard that Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton are going to be in a vampire movie that is released in the US on April 11th? Yeah, me either!
  • While watching the Oscars, I discovered that Martin Freeman was in a nominated short film. Apparently it'll be touring with the other "Oscar Shorts" in the theaters. It's on my list to see.
  • An infographic of the 42 essential 3rd act twists from literature.
  • Fallon and Timberlake continue the History of Rap series on The Tonight Show with the fifth installment.
  • Ricky Gervais has put out a series called "Learn Guitar with David Brent". If you like his humor or his character from The Office, you'll find this enjoyable.
  • For everyone who has worked in corporate America, here is an example of what conference calls are like in real life.
  • Want to see a four minute scene from the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier? It's pretty darn squeee-worthy.
  • Have you heard about Oculus? It stars Karen Gillan (of Doctor Who fame) and Katee Sackhoff. It looks pretty creepy!
  • i09 created a list of 30 Cult Movies that they consider "must watch". I've actually seen twenty-one of them. Apparently I'm a cult movie fan!
  • The Sarlacc Toilet. I really kind of want this.
  • Bill Nye tells the story behind the selfie he posted of himself, Neil deGrasse Tyson and President Obama.

And, if you didn't catch Cosmos last night, you should try to catch it tonight. Or on streaming from your cable provider. Because, you like science, right? Right?!

This Week Online - February 24, 2014

I would like it if fantastic comic legends would stop passing away for a bit. This last week has been rough. We lost both Sid Caesar and Harold Ramis in the last two weeks. Both men were legends and influenced generations of comic talent. Here are some things of interest I found online in the last week:

RIP Mr. Caesar and Mr. Ramis.

This Week Online - February 15, 2014

Hey all - I'm getting ready to head out for a short vacation to Miami, FL, so I wanted to toss the things I've found so far online this week up on the site. Enjoy!

Have a great week!

Today Is the Last Day of Worldbuilders

worldbuilders Today is the final day to participate in Patrick Rothfuss's Worldbuilders charity event for Heifer International. A donation as small as $10 will enter you into a lottery full of awesome books and you'll help Heifer fight hunger and poverty across the world.

There aren't many charities out there that I regularly give to. A limit on funds available to donate is always an issue. But Heifer is one organization I try to give to every year. They make a difference in the world. And it's neat to be able to give someone a beehive or a flock of chickens or sheep or a cow or a water buffalo. You can also give irrigation pumps, clean water, stoves and the like.

Patrick Rothfuss is an author of a great series of books called The Kingkiller Chronicle. I don't know him personally, but from his posts on Facebook and his blog he appears to be a great guy who really cares about doing good for people. He runs the Worldbuilders event and gets donations from authors and artists to auction on eBay for the charity as well as to put in the lottery for contributors to win. The items in the lottery are mind blowing - lots of rare editions of books, autographed books, things you can't get anywhere else. And the items that have been sold on eBay have been really neat too - there's a listing for Len Peralta's Geek-A-Week card sets that it breaks my heart I don't have the cash to bid on myself - and there's lots of other neat books and prints currently up for auction as well.

So, if you have any interest in checking this great opportunity out, please do so. It's a great cause, and you'll get a chance to win something really neat as well.

Dresden Files and Old Man's War

I just recently finished reading books 3 and 4 in Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series (Grave Peril and Summer Knight respectively), and the first book in John Scalzi's Old Man's War series. I reviewed Old Man's War over on Goodreads, but suffice it to say I found it enjoyable. More enjoyable than I had expected it to be, given the subject matter. I recommend that you check it out.

The Dresden Files series is enjoyable brain candy. Highly formulaic, it's light hearted fantasy-meets-real-world with some detective stuff thrown in for good measure. I find it nice bedtime reading as it doesn't require much brain power. His formula is reliably engaging, if a bit predictable after 4 books. There are 15 books in the series so far. I'm still finding them entertaining enough to continue to purchase upon occasion. I just hope that series doesn't jump the shark like the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) series by Charlaine Harris did.

To round out this post, I've found a couple of amusing things on the internet that I wanted to share before the weekend comes. One of them is a fantastic Superbowl commercial. Enjoy!

This Week Online - January 27, 2014

I hope everyone is enjoying the Winter weather across the country. I know I'm glad the kids are back at school today. Here are some fun things I found online this week:

Please enjoy, and check back often!

Tabletop Thursday - Ticket to Ride: Europe

Happy Thursday! Today's episode of Tabletop features Ticket to Ride: Europe. [youtube=http://youtu.be/Bk8X2fn9a4I width="400" height="300"]

Players are Emma Caulfield, Anne Wheaton and John Kovalic. The chemistry between the players is very upbeat and positive, despite Wil and John's initial competitiveness against each other. Still, this game basically plays just like the original Ticket to Ride from last season with very small variations.

Hope everyone has had a good week. The kids in my area got the entire week off from school due to snow, and this was also my son's birthday week. So happy birthday to him, and yay snow! I feel like I've gotten some proper Winter now.

The big project at my house is painting a bathroom to look like the inside of the classic TARDIS. It's turned out to be a lot more work than expected (as all painting projects do). I'll be posting pictures & details here when it's finished!

Don't miss Tabletop Day 2014!!! (April 5th)

thumbs_tabletopday_logo I don't know what you did for Tabletop Day last year, but I had a fantastic time going to my local game shop and playing games. Dragon's Den in Short Pump, VA is my store of choice, and they put on quite a game-filled day for last year's Tabletop Day.

I got to play Cthulhu Fluxx for the first time, and discovered that the rules for that variant of the Fluxx games are far more complicated than most. I also saw people enjoying wonderful games like Gloom, Sentinels of The Multiverse and Dixit, to name a few.

Here's an ad that Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton did to promote awareness of Tabletop Day on the USA Today website.

Take your family to your local game store and check out some new games. Tabletop games are all the rage right now, and there are tons of fun games out there. Your local game store owner will be happy to introduce you to them. You can also check out my link on the left for the full run of Tabletop episodes (Geek & Sundry's YouTube show), featuring wonderful games and how to play them.

If you need help finding a Tabletop Day participating store in your area, check out the official Tabletop Day website!

To quote Wil Wheaton, "Play more games!"

This Week Online - January 20, 2014

Hola everyone! Hope you're having a warm & relaxing MLK day today. Here's some fun stuff I've seen online in the last couple of weeks:

We're expecting snow here tonight, which would be a nice change from the relatively mild temperatures and lots of rain we've had so far this Winter. Have a good week and check back soon for more posts!

This Week Online - November 25, 2013

Hey all! Coming down to the wire on NaNoWriMo - I've got 5000 words to go and 6 days until the month is over. Keep your fingers crossed for me! In honor of the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, here are the most amusing Doctor Who related things I've seen online in the past week:

Enjoy!

This Week Online - November 19, 2013

Goodness, the month is flying by. I'm halfway through my wordcount for NaNoWriMo, which is great, but still about 6,000 words short of where I should be at this point. Distractions, distractions everywhere! Here are some fun distractions I found on the internet this week:

  • Pretty cool voice acting Batman vs. Superman!
  • Sesame Street did a send-up of The Hunger Games? They sure did!
  • Are you stoked about the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special on Saturday? Check out this awesome prequel minisode that leads into that episode!
  • Someone used game theory to figure out how to win consistently on The Price Is Right. Some people have too much time on their hands.
  • Steve Martin got an Oscar. Not at all sure why his award wasn't awarded during the main ceremony. But he's touching and hilarious and awesome in that way only Steve Martin can be.
  • A short film written by Neil Gaiman about a girl who tries not to fly.
  • And, sadly, the best thing I had to share with you has been removed due to copyright issues. Hal (Bryan Cranston) wakes up in bed next to Lois (Jane Kaczmarek) having had a nightmare about being Walter White. It was truly hilarious. The short will apparently be part of the "Complete Breaking Bad" DVD package. Here's a full description of the short.

Hope you're all having an excellent week!

Tabletop Thursday - Takenoko

Today's episode features the game Takenoko, which I've heard of but have never played. It looks like a really cute game and the folks in this episode have a great time playing it. I'll definitely be picking this up for a future game night!

[youtube=http://youtu.be/wv4n-e-hb_o width="400" height="300"]

I love the animated panda, but not as much as the Owlbear from Lords of Waterdeep.

Enjoy!

This Week Online - November 11, 2013

Hi folks! Time for the round-up of fun things I found on the Internet this week.

Enjoy!

Ender's Game

endersgame Saw Ender's Game today. Yes, I'm well aware of the Orson Scott Card controversy swirling around the 'net right now. Let's ignore that and talk about the film.

It was pretty good. Asa Butterfield is perfect as Ender. He's so tiny. Not a lot of time is spent with his siblings Valentine and Peter, for which I was thankful. They were my least favorite parts of the book itself. Though Peter's real monstrosity isn't conveyed in a way that makes Ender's whinging on about how he's "just like Peter" hit home the way it does in the book.

Harrison Ford as Graff is fine. To be honest, he's given a bit too much screen time. And his Graff is not nearly as cold and hard on Ender as he is in the book. Ender's entire training isn't nearly as solitary as it is in the book either. Perhaps it was the pacing that didn't allow for those periods of bleak solitude, feeling like he didn't have a friend in the world.

Kingsley as Rackham is great. But when is Kingsley not great? The supporting actors who play Ender's fellow trainees are all well done, particularly Hailee Steinfeld (Petra), Aramis Knight (Bean), Suraj Partha (Alai), and Nonso Anozie (Sgt. Dap). Moises Arias also puts in a great performance as the hateful Bonzo Madrid.

All of the action scenes are amazing, particularly the Battle School game scenes. The epic fights with the Bugg... er, Formics are also visually amazing. I do wish they'd spent more time developing the significance of the mind game Ender plays on his tablet in his free time. If they'd spent more time developing that I think the final reveal at the end of the film would have been more moving.

Overall though, the film is visually splendid. It does a competent job with the highlights of the story elements from the book.

Oh, and this is NaNoWriMo day 3! I managed to get 1774 words written today so am now up to 5372 total! Yay!